What is a learning record store (LRS)?

Posted by Greten on 20 Mar 2023 under Terms

A learning record store (LRS) is a server system that maintains data from both informal and formal learning events. It may track various learning interactions, including elearning courses, websites, social media apps, virtual or in-person conferences or events, discussion forums, books, and devices used in onsite training, such as medical dummies.

Learning management systems (LMSs) have long been the standard for tracking learners' progress and achievements in asynchronous elearning. LRS might provide more comprehensive details of what and how your team members are learning. This entry will look at what an LRS is, how it works, why you should use one, and whether you still need an LMS if you have an LRS.

How does an LRS function?

As learners interact with xAPI-enabled learning programs, such as an elearning course or a website, the LRS receives information about their actions. This information comes in the form of xAPI statements, which are codes that describe the learners' actions. Because xAPI statements can be customized, you can collect more precise and subtle information about your learners' learning experience than using AICC or SCORM package with an LMS. The abbreviation xAPI means experience API, and it is also among the publishing options of which you can publish your elearning module, just like AICC and SCORM.

An abstract art showing an outline of the human brain on the background of what appears to be map of a computer motherboard.

The LRS, for example, may track if learners are stuck or losing interest at critical spots, gauge their level of interaction on a discussion board, and keep track of the online and onsite events they've attended. These xAPI statements are saved in the LRS as individual learning records. You can see these records on the LRS and generate reports on them, or you can send them to an LMS for the same reason.

Why use an LRS?

If you already have an LMS, you may wonder what you will gain by implementing an LRS. An LRS could provide you with a more complete picture of what and how your learners are learning. In an LMS, you can only see who has completed your course and their scores. With an LRS, you can determine which resources your learners find useful.

One of the most significant advantages of LRSs is the ability to collect more specific and nuanced information on learners than typical LMSs. This is because xAPI statements can be tailored to the demands of any organization. For example, your organization may utilize xAPI statements to measure the time learners spend on a specific task or the resources they use to finish a course. This precise data can assist firms in identifying knowledge gaps and tailoring learning programs to the individual needs of their learners.

Medical dummy receiving a CPR.

Possessing more comprehensive data on the learner's interactions and overall learning experience can help you adapt your learning programs to better meet the needs of your learners and, as a result, increase the effectiveness of the subsequent iterations of the learning program. To gain the full benefits of employing an LRS, however, it is necessary to take the time to examine the data and make appropriate modifications.

Is an LMS still required if you have an LRS?

One frequently asked question is whether a company requires both an LMS and an LRS. It depends, is the response to this question. Certain LRSs offer built-in hosting capabilities, meaning businesses that utilize such LRSs do not need to keep their LMS. On the other hand, if the LRS does not let organizations host their courses, they may have to use both an LMS and an LRS.

A server room where LMSs are usually hosted.

Another factor to consider is if it is worthwhile to migrate all of your courses to a new hosting system. For example, suppose you have a large collection of courses on your current LMS. In that case, it may not be worth the effort to relocate them if you can leave them where they are and benefit from the added tracking that an LRS can give. An essential function of LRS that you will find useful in such a situation is its ability to extract data from the LMS, just like it can draw data from other platforms such as the HTML5 learning module, websites, and computerized devices.


A learning record store (LRS) is a system that keeps information from formal and informal learning activities. LRSs let organizations collect and evaluate precise details on their learners, allowing them to adjust their learning programs to fit their learners' individual needs. Organizations can also use LRSs to track learning experiences across various platforms, such as elearning courses, social media apps, onsite events, discussion boards, and books.

LRSs track learner activity using the xAPI specification, allowing for collecting more precise and subtle information about learners than traditional LMSs. While some LRSs include hosting capabilities, depending on their individual requirements, organizations may need to use both an LMS and an LRS depending on the resources and practicability of transferring deployed courses from an old LMS to a hosting-enabled LRS. LRSs can be an excellent tool for companies trying to enhance their learning programs and improve their employees' or learners' learning experiences.


Last updated on 21 Mar 2023.

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